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Edward Clark Potter

Edward Clark Potter (November 26, 1857-June 21, 1923) American sculptor. Born in New London, Connecticut, he grew up in Enfield, Massachusetts where he lived with his mother Mary and sister Clara. There he went to local schools. At 17, due to his mother's wish that he become a minister, he entered Williston Seminary in Easthampton, Massachusetts for four years. He entered Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts in the class of 1882. He only attended for three semesters, but later was granted an honorary Master's degree. He studied drawing at the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts with Frederic Crowninshield and Otto Grundmann. There he also did some modelling with the sculptor Truman H. Bartlett.

In 1883 he became an assistant to Daniel Chester French and concentrated on animal studies and working as a manager and salesman in the quarries.

From 1887 to 1889 he studied sculpture at the Académie Julian in Paris with Mercié and Emmanuel Frémiet, becoming an accomplished animalier (animal sculptor). During his years there, he exhibited several pieces at the Salon: small groups of rabbits, a bust of a black man, a sketch from an American Indian group, and a sleeping faun with a rabbit.

For the 1893 World Columbian Exposition in Chicago he collaborated with his teacher and friend Daniel Chester French on the most important sculptures of the exposition. Unfortunately these statues, like most of the architecture of the fair, were made of staff; a temporary material of plaster, cement, and jute fibers, first used in buildings of the Paris exhibition in 1878.

He was elected that year to the National Sculpture Society.

In 1894 he joined the Society of American Artists which later merged with the National Academy to which he was elected in 1906

From 1902 on, a native of Greenwich, Connecticut, he sculpted the memorial to Raynal Bolling there. The Cos Cob section of Greenwich is considered one of the birthplaces of American Impressionism. Potter was a founder and first president of the Greenwich Society of Artists, founded in 1912.

Potter won the gold medal at the St. Louis Exhibition in 1904.

His most famous work is the 1911 pair of pink Tennessee marble lions at the New York Public Library carved by the Piccirilli brothers. The lions were nicknamed "Patience" and "Fortitude" by mayor Fiorello LaGuardia.

He died at his summer home in New London, Connecticut.